Puma Basketball has now signed two of the top NBA prospects.
Projected #1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, DeAndre Ayton, has agreed to a four-year sneaker deal with Puma Basketball, making him the third incoming rookie to sign with the revived brand. Former Duke Blue Devil, Marvin Bagley III, and Texas Tech's Zhaire Smith have also signed on with Puma.
Ayton, a 7'1 center, explained that Puma's popularity in the Bahamas growing up was one of the reasons that he chose to join the team rather than pursuing other, bigger brands like Adidas, Nike and Under Armour.
"Puma is pretty popular in the Bahamas," Ayton said. "I've always seen the brand growing up. [Bolt] is one of the first people I saw with the brand. It's important to me that someone I identify with and admire as an athlete is with the same brand."
"As I've been in the States, I've seen what they do with entertainers and always liked that," Ayton said. "I see someone like Rihanna recently -- who is a lot like me, we have a similar background -- and she's putting her stamp on the brand. That's something that appeals to me from a creative side. Eventually I want to be a part of bringing this new style of Puma to my people."
Puma hasn't signed an NBA player since Vince Carter left for Nike in 1999, but they're coming back strong by signing what could be the top two picks in the 2018 NBA Draft in Ayton and Bagley. The draft will take place on Thursday, June 21, starting at 7:00pm ET.